Professor of Genetics
|Address:||720 20th Street South
Kaul Building, room 640A
Birmingham, AL 35294
Ph.D. (Genetics), Case Western Reserve University
Post-doctoral studies, Department of Human and Molecular Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX
My research interests are centered on defining the mechanisms that regulate inflammation. For these investigations, we have focused our studies on defining the roles of leukocyte/endothelial cell adhesion molecules in mediating inflammatory responses. These proteins, along with chemoattractant/activating molecules, mediate the process by which leukocytes exit the vasculature into tissue in response to an inflammatory stimulus. Many different adhesion molecules have been described, including the selectins, integrins, and members of the immunoglobulin superfamily of adhesion receptors. Recent evidence from our lab and others suggest that these molecules play both pro- and anti-inflammatory roles, and we are using a genetic approach in mice to further define these functions. For our studies, we have developed many different lines of adhesion molecule mutant mice using gene-targeting methodologies. Mice with single or multiple mutations are currently being analyzed in models of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, vasculitis, and inflammatory bowel disease to determine their specific roles in the pathogenesis of these diseases. Our lab has also characterized a novel model of psoriasis that develops in Beta-2 integrin mutant mice backcrossed onto the PL/J strain background. We are now trying to map and clone the loci that control the initiation and progression of skin disease in PL/J mice. Other studies include analyzing the roles of T cells in the development of skin inflammation in this model.